From one table to the next, volunteers collected cheques and handed out pamphlets to the crowds of people hoarding through the Totem Mall for the annual Community One Stop.
“Growing up here, this is probably one of the biggest ones I can remember. It’s pretty cool, it’s nice to offer something for everyone,” City of Fort St. John Recreation Programmer Ryan Harvey said.
52 tables in all filled almost every empty corner of the mall; Harvey remarked that it would have been tough to squeeze even another group into the space. He said it’s a sign of the season and the times that people were out in droves to check out what’s available in the community this fall and winter, one that he hopes will lead to a more active and engaged region.
“Being that this was the first one that I had organized for the fall session, a little surprised that we got to 52 tables and 47 organizations. Crazy, it’s cool to see the response, it’s been busy since the doors opened,” Harvey said on Sept. 10.
“It’s great to allow everyone to come for one opportunity to see what Fort St. John has to offer and allow them to register for anything that they want to do. That not only helps the locals but definitely the people that are new to town and just in town for the winter or certain seasons.”
Leesa Stellmaker of 30 Minute Hit said she finds they get more of a commitment at the fall one stop than any other event and believes it’s because people come with an objective to get involved in the fall.
Taylor minor hockey hasn’t been at the one stop in a few years and with an influx of volunteers this year they decided to spread the word. Representatives from the organization said the response has been great, a lot of people just know about Fort St. John minor hockey and don’t realize there’s a chance to play in Taylor as well.
This year, more than most there was a presence of arts and community-centered groups. Harvey said that definitely helped the numbers.
“It truly is a one-stop shop that allows people to go for everything from pre-school to karate to music to the traditional hockey and soccer. We’ve got something for everyone.” Harvey added.